After a season with so much promise in 2015, the season ended for Marlboro’s baseball team with a deadening feel after a Class B quarterfinal loss to Millbrook.
“I have a lot of returners who obviously experienced that,” said Dave Onusko, Marlboro’s coach, “ and as seniors they will easily get beyond that.”
Three of those seniors, Nick Mongelli, Jack Rusk and Xavier Oliver, recently helped power Marlboro’s boys’ basketball to a state Class B final, and now they’ll help strengthen a defense on the diamond, so the offense has the flexibility to get the Dukes back to postseason in May.
“Defensively,” said Onusko, of the infield, “it should be a sparkling note.”
Mongelli, a left-handed pitcher, returns as the most experienced starter as Onusko puts together his rotation. Rusk will play first base, and Oliver will play second base. John Mooradian, a senior, will play shortstop. Tristan Ceriello, a junior, will play third base, and Cole Nicolis, a senior, will control the pitchers behind the plate.
Robert Parra and Joey Marshall, seniors, are expected to play in the outfield with Andrew Conner, a senior who will also play first base. Tyler Sheely, a junior, will play in the outfield with Austin Casey, a junior, and Sam Mongelli, a freshman.
Oliver will also pitch along with Joe Canosa, and Nick Rabe, junior righties, and Connor Corrado, a junior lefty.
“I have one returner who had a lot of innings, and then we’ll have to see from there,” said Onusko. “From there, we’ll see who gets a lot of innings and where we stand on the mound.”
Jake Dreyer, a junior, will play in the outfield with Phil Janeiro. Justin Conte will play in the infield and catch with Haden Toussaint.
Onusko expects the defense to be strong, and he is also optimistic about the offense.
“I think our approach and ability to be comfortable at the plate should be good,” he said.
By Bond Brungard